Shire Korea said Friday that Firazyr, a medicine used to treat acute attacks of hereditary angioedema (HAE) in people 18 years of age and older, will receive insurance coverage from Saturday.
Hereditary angioedema makes a patient suffering from recurrent episodes of severe swelling that commonly affects the arms, legs, face, intestinal tract, and airway. The condition occurs in one out of 10,000 to 150,000 people. Data showed around 65 patients with the rare disease in Korea last year.
Firazyr is a treatment for acute attacks of hereditary angioedema caused by a deficiency of C1-esterase inhibitor in adults. It blocks the vasodilating action of bradykinin and alleviates acute attacks within two hours. The treatment comes out in pre-filled syringes and after getting instructions from a medical professional, they can self-inject the medication themselves.
The insurance coverage will cover a single dose of the treatment for patients who have confirmed hereditary angioedema due to a deficiency of C1-esterase inhibitor.
“We are very pleased that Firazyr received insurance coverage within a short period as there is currently no treatment for hereditary angioedema acute attack that has been approved in Korea,” Shire Korea CEO Moon Hee-seok said. “The supply of Firazyr will lead to positive life changes for patients with hereditary angioedema who have difficulty performing daily life with unpredictable seizures.”
Shire Korea will continue to strive to expand treatment options and improve the quality of life for patients with rare diseases in Korea, Moon added.